Transformative Leadership in Education : Equitable and Socially Just Change in an Uncertain and Complex World book cover
2nd Edition

Transformative Leadership in Education
Equitable and Socially Just Change in an Uncertain and Complex World

ISBN 9781138633773
Published August 7, 2017 by Routledge
162 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Framed by real stories and grounded in research, the second edition of Transformative Leadership in Education presents an alternative approach to leadership that is engaged, active, and courageous. Noted scholar Carolyn M. Shields explores the concept of transformative leadership and its potential to create learning environments that are academically excellent, equitable, inclusive, and socially just, even in the face of the volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world of education today. Chapters combine contemporary research findings with stories of schools, leaders, students, teachers, and community members to demonstrate that transformative leadership can promote academic achievement, family and community empowerment, democratic engagement, and global citizenship. This exciting text will appeal to all aspiring and practicing leaders who want to prepare students to be successful, caring, and engaged citizens of the global community.

New in this edition:

  • Updated end-of-chapter guiding questions to help readers reflect on their own practice and to apply the concepts in their own contexts.
  • Enriched discussion of the interrelationships among the eight tenets of transformative leadership and leading for social justice.
  • Elaborated discussion of the need for reflection, grounding, and spiritual connections on the part of transformative leaders.
  • Expanded discussion of refugee and transgender students.
  • Supplemental eResources to prompt further dialogue and reflection, downloadable at


Table of Contents




1 Living in a World of Unfulfilled Promises: Examining the Context for Educational Leadership

2 Transformative Leadership as a Socially-Just Response to a VUCA World

3 Changing Knowledge Frameworks to Promote Equity

4 Making Power a Positive Force

5 Promoting Both Private and Public Good: Creating Inclusive School Communities

6 Fostering Democracy and Global Citizenship: Understanding Justice and Interconnectedness in Our Global Community

7 Putting it Together: Transforming Schools

8 Conclusion





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Carolyn M. Shields is Professor of Educational Leadership in the College of Education at Wayne State University, Detroit, USA.


"Shields’ broad experience working to promote social justice in a wide diversity of settings enables her to provide an abundance of specific examples to illustrate how unjust practices render harm. Providing a well thought out theoretical structure for the various exercises of school leadership, the 2nd edition of Transformative Leadership in Education is enhanced by a selection of reflective questions that invite readers to apply their insights to their own work settings. This book will serve well as a required text for courses focused on school leadership."
—Robert J. Starratt, Professor Emeritus, The Lynch School of Education, Boston College

"The 2nd edition of Transformative Leadership in Education convincingly shows that leaders focusing solely on efficiency is not sustainable since it overlooks context and ethical relationships. Indeed, Shields’ notion of transformative leadership is a vital contribution in that it widens conceptions for action and provides significant concepts that enables educational leaders to navigate more justly the messy field of educational organizations and relationships."     
—Silvia Edling, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, University of Gävle, Sweden